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2008 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate selection

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Senator Joe Biden of Delaware was chosen by Barack Obama as his running mate on August 22, 2008.
Senator Joe Biden of Delaware was chosen by Barack Obama as his running mate on August 22, 2008.

This article lists individuals who were potential Democratic Party candidates for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 presidential election. After Illinois Senator Barack Obama became the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee on June 3, 2008,[1] Obama formed a small committee, made up of James A. Johnson (who stepped down after one week),[2] Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy, to help him select a running mate.[3][4][5] Veteran Democratic lawyer and advisor James "Jim" Hamilton, of the firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, later replaced Johnson in vetting candidates.[6]

Obama strongly considered Senator Evan Bayh and governors Tim Kaine and Kathleen Sebelius, but Obama ultimately decided to select Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. The Obama-Biden ticket won the 2008 presidential election, defeating the Republican McCain-Palin ticket.


Media near where Joe Biden was residing during speculation that he may be the Democratic nominee for Vice President.
Media near where Joe Biden was residing during speculation that he may be the Democratic nominee for Vice President.

According to contemporaneous news sources, the following people were thought to be on Senator Obama's short list for Vice President:[7][8][9]

Final Days and Announcement

In the final days leading up to the Democratic National Convention, four individuals were left on Obama's final list for Vice President: Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, Tim Kaine, and Kathleen Sebelius.[9]

On August 22, the eve of Obama's scheduled unveiling of his running mate, NBC News reported that Bayh and Kaine had been informed that they were not chosen.[10] Last minute controversy emerged as it was learned that Senator Hillary Clinton was never vetted for the position, when it was earlier thought that Sen. Barack Obama would consider her as he previously stated in various private and public reports.[11] This led to several questions as to whether Clinton supporters would feel betrayed and would defuse the intensity in "dream ticket" scenarios.

That night, ABC News reported that the U.S. Secret Service had assumed protection of Biden, which was seen as a sign that he had been chosen as Obama's running mate.[12] Just hours later, the Associated Press broke the news that Democratic Party officials had confided that Obama had in fact selected Biden as the vice-presidential nominee.[13]

Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe later wrote in his book The Audacity to Win, which was published in November 2009, that Bayh had been a "coin toss" away from becoming Obama's running mate. Plouffe and David Axelrod had interviewed the finalists and Plouffe said that Bayh's answers were "substantively close to perfect, if cautiously so." He recalled that at the time of the interview he thought to himself, "there's no way this guy will color outside the lines... Bayh's up side and down side are probably the closest spread of the three", compared to Biden, who could "reach higher heights but could cause us real pain." As Obama approached a decision, he told Plouffe "it's a coin toss now between Bayh and Biden, but Kaine is still a distinct possibility." On August 17, Obama told Axelrod simply, "I've decided. It's Biden."[14][15] It was later reported that Obama told Kaine, in breaking the news to him, "You are the pick of my heart, but Joe [Biden] is the pick of my head".[16]

On August 23, 2008, via text message, the Obama campaign announced that the then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee chose Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate.[17]

Media speculation of potential running mates

Members of Congress


Other individuals

Denied interest

See also


  1. ^ "RealClearPolitics - 2008 Elections - Democratic Delegate Count". Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  2. ^ John Broder (2008-06-12). "Obama Aide Quits Under Fire for His Business Ties". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  3. ^ "vice president - The Caucus Blog -". Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  4. ^ "Obama Picks Caroline Kennedy, 2 Others for VP Search (Update2)". Bloomberg. 2008-06-04.
  5. ^ See "Obama VP Vetter Tied to Controversial Mortgage Crisis",[permanent dead link], USA Today, 9 June 2008
  6. ^ Freed, Benjamin. "Meet the DC Lawyer Helping Hillary Clinton Pick a Running Mate", Washingtonian, June 20, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Barrett, Ted (June 10, 2008). "Obama VP team discusses 20 possible picks". CNN. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  8. ^ Kane, Murray, Paul, Shailagh (June 10, 2008). "The '08 Veep Tour Begins". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
  9. ^ a b Zeleny, Jeff; Rutenberg, Jim (August 23, 2008). "In Obama's Choice, a 'Very Personal Decision'". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  10. ^ "Sources: Bayh, Kaine out of Obama VP race - Barack Obama News - NBC News". NBC News. August 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  11. ^ Mike Allen. "Hillary gets stiffed - Print View". Archived from the original on 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  12. ^ Jake Tapper; Ann Compton; Matt Jaffe; Jay Shaylor (August 22, 2008). "U.S. Secret Service on Way to Biden's House; Kaine and Bayh Told Nope on Veep". Political Punch. Archived from the original on 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  13. ^ "McCain taps Alaska governor for VP - Yahoo! News". Archived from the original on 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  14. ^ "Bayh was about a 'coin toss' away from being veep, book says". November 1, 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "Sen. Bayh lost 'coin toss' for VP slot – Legislative notebook". Evansville Courier & Press. November 1, 2009. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Barack Obama - Change We Can Believe In - Share your personal welcome note". Retrieved 2008-09-05.
This page was last edited on 16 November 2020, at 22:42
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